Yesterday evening was the final day in my 'Come Dine With Me' competition, and Beaver Hateman's turn to cook for us all.
We all had to traipse over to the rickety'castle' of Badfort. There are hundreds of rooms, many with the roofs falling in, and all the passages are piled with rubble and broken glass.
At least Beaver had made some effort to tidy up the Great Hall of Badfort. The debris and detritus had been cleared away and he had even managed to put a fairly clean table cloth on their large feasting bench.
"There you go mates!" said Beaver, throwing down a plate of food and a tankard of Black Tom for each of his guests, "Scob Fish on toast with a Black Tom Sauce! - Tuck in!"
My stomach churned - it looked absolutely disgusting. The ugly, oily, fish was swimming in a nasty dark grey mess.
There was a smirk on Beavers face. He knew that the diktats of polite society meant that we would be unable to refuse his obnoxious concoction.
Warily, I put a morsel in my mouth.
It was delicious! - I immediately felt a warm glow enveloping my stomach.
"Well, Beaver I am overcome" said Cheapman "It really is rather splendid!"
"I must agree" remarked Wizard Blenkinsop "Quite exquisite!"
"Marvelous!" added Gleamhound "The flavours just keep hitting you!"
"Wot you got to say then, Unc!" sniggered Beaver.
"I have to admit," I said reluctantly "That beneath your gruff exterior there is clearly the sensitivity of a culinary genius - I am quite taken aback"
"Right, and that's only the start of the evenings entertainments - I and my compatriots will now treat you to a few renditions of great revolutionary songs!" crowed Beaver.
Having to sit through their raucous declarations, that the revolution was nigh, was a low point - but having been so well fed we felt it would be churlish to complain.
At the end of the evening came the time for the marking. The highest scorer would be declared the winner and receive the £1,000 for charity that I had offered as the prize.
My evening was the first to be scored. "Ten for Uncle, of course." said the Wizard. "Oh Yes, definitely a ten." said Cheapman. "Yes a ten from me, Sir. said Gleamhound. "One!" said Beaver "He did nought - he got his minion Mig to do all the cooking!"
I have to admit I was more than a little angry at that remark - I had spent a long time preparing the evenings events.
This gave me a score of thirty one.
Next we marked Wizard Blenkinsop. "A magical meal - without a doubt a ten." I said. "Hmmm not quite as good as Uncle's - I'll give you a nine." said the Cheapman. "Yes, a nine!" said Gleamhound. "One!" declared Beaver "Using magic is just plain cheatin'"
This gave the Wizard a score of twenty nine.
Then we marked Cheapman. "Splendid meal - I'll give you a Ten" I said. "Not bad - I'll give you a nine" said the Wizard. "Very good, a nine!" said Gleamhound. "One!" shouted Beaver "He just shoved a load of stuff off his shelves and into the cooker!"
This gave Cheapman a score of twenty nine.
Marking Gleamhound was tricky - his intentions were clearly good but he had made us all ill. "I can only give you five, I'm afraid." said the Wizard. "I was sick all evening - the most I could give is four." said Cheapman. "I shall give you ten," I declared "for I know that it was a misunderstanding."
"I cannot understand what could have gone wrong?" muttered Gleamhound.
"None!" screamed Beaver "The old coot tried to poison us!".
This gave Gleamhound a score of only nineteen.
I was in the lead, but it was now time to mark Beaver.
"I have to give Beaver ten - it was a culinary delight" said the Wizard. "Definitely a ten, unfortunately." said Cheapman "Gastronomically it was outstanding . "A ten from me too, my tummy still feels warm, all over,from that delightful meal." said Gleamhound.
Everyone looked at me expectantly, knowing that if I gave Beaver nil I could still win.
For making us listen to those rebel dirges all evening he deserved a nil mark - but, of course, I could not appear churlish.
"Yes, a ten from me." I said reluctantly "Beaver has shown the most impressive culinary skills."
"Top marks!" cried Beaver "I win - thats a grand you owe me! Unc!"
"I hope you use it wisely" I said, barely able to believe I was, actually, handing over cash to Hateman.
"Oh yes, mate - this is going straight into the fund for impoverished revolutionaries!"
I could feel myself reddening with anger "Come, Old Monkey - we must get back to Homeward to help the really needy!" I snapped.
Later that evening, I was just regaining my composure when A.B.Fox, my detective, asked to see me.
"I think you should see this, boss" he said - and put on a videotape.
"I took the liberty of setting up surveillance cameras at the locations of your various dinners this week. In case Beaver tried anything on." he added.
The tape showed Beaver sneaking into Gleamhound's laboratory during the night of our dining. He could be seen taking a bottle from the shelf and putting in in his swag bag.
"What has he stolen?" I asked.
"It's a bottle of Indigestion Producer (for enemies), Sir, I think that might explain why you all found Beaver's meal, this evening, so wonderful. He must have added it to the Black Tom sauce." replied A.B.
Of course! all Gleamhound's concoctions have the reverse effect, that is why it seemed so good!